Indian Country crime an issue in US Attorney firing

Crime in Indian Country was an issue in the firing of the U.S. Attorney for Arizona, The New York Times reports.

Paul Charlton wanted the FBI to tape interviews with criminal suspects. He cited a case in which he said his office was forced to plea bargain a Navajo man who confessed to beating his girlfriend and staging it to look like a suicide attempt.

Charlton said a taped confession would have resulted in a stronger conviction for Jimmie Neztsosie. But the FBI instead submitted a one-page summary that didn't indicate whether Neztsosie was interviewed in English or Navajo, or whether he was intoxicated.

Charlton also cited the disparate justice systems in Arizona. Off the reservation, law enforcement agencies tape interviews with their suspects.

But plans to tape interviews infuriated the FBI, Charlton said. Top political appointees at the Department of Justice intervened and made him weaken his policy into a pilot project.

Get the Story:
Crime Intensifies Debate Over Taping of Suspects (The New York Times 4/2)

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